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Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) today launches public engagement on the Olympic Plaza Transformation project, inviting Calgarians to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of this beloved city landmark.

As the development manager for this transformative project, CMLC, along with their partners at Arts Commons and The City of Calgary, recognize the importance of community involvement in shaping the city’s identity. The Olympic Plaza Transformation project aims to redesign the aging plaza into a dynamic, flexible, and culturally vibrant space, aligning with Calgary’s ever-evolving arts and culture scene and the dramatic adjacent transformation of Arts Commons, soon to be under construction.

“After 35 years of serving our city, Olympic Plaza is ready for a transformation,” said Kate Thompson, President and CEO of CMLC. “We know many Calgarians and visitors have fond memories associated with the plaza and this is an incredible opportunity for Calgary to revitalize the plaza into a modern, inclusive, arts-focused gathering place that reflects the vibrant spirit of our community. Calgarians’ feedback will be crucial in informing the design and ensuring that the revitalized plaza can continue to thrive as a beloved gathering space for generations.”

The revitalization of Olympic Plaza is a key component of a significant $660M investment in Arts Commons, Western Canada’s largest performing arts centre, which also includes an expansion of Arts Commons in the form of a new 162,000 sq. ft. building, the modernization of the existing Arts Commons facility and a $50M endowment fund. The project is aligned with The City of Calgary’s Downtown Strategy and represents a strategic investment to further enhance downtown vibrancy, rejuvenating Calgary’s core by establishing safe, inclusive public spaces enriched with arts and cultural programming.

“We want to hear directly from Calgarians on how they currently use Olympic Plaza, their vision for cultural and recreational experiences in the revitalized space, and how we can ensure its enduring appeal as a cherished community asset,” adds Kate.

To gather valuable insights, CMLC has launched an online survey which will be open through June 5, 2024. Additionally, CMLC ambassadors will pop up around Olympic Plaza to encourage participation in the survey throughout the month. Building on the findings from targeted stakeholder engagement earlier this year, along with The City of Calgary’s 2016 public consultation on the plaza’s future, insights collected from this engagement will inform the design process through 2024. The designs for the new plaza are expected to be shared in early 2025.

The Olympic Plaza Transformation has an anticipated project cost of $70M, of which $40M has already been allocated through The City of Calgary’s 2023-2026 budget for downtown revitalization. Efforts are underway to secure the remining required funds.

Olympic Plaza will be closed from late 2024 through 2028 to enable construction on both the Arts Commons Transformation and Olympic Plaza Transformation projects.

Visit this link for more information and to participate in the survey. At the end of the survey, participants will have a chance to win an Arts Commons Experience prize package. More about the contest details, rules, and regulations are available at the same survey link.

Sean Chu

Sean Chu arrived in Calgary from Taiwan in 1985 speaking not a word of English, and within 7 years he was a sworn officer with the Calgary Police Service. From that point on Sean worked with the Calgary Police Service as on Officer for 21 years in a number of roles until 2013.

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